President Obama Tweets about Mars Simulation

President Obama posted a tweet congratulating the Mars simulation team and suggesting they get a shave ice. The fourth HI-SEAS mission has just been completed after a one-year stay in a habitat on the Big Island. ICS Professor Kim Binsted is the project’s principal investigator.

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HI-SEAS IV Mars Simulation Mission Completed

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“We’re proud to be helping NASA reduce or remove the barriers to long-duration space exploration.” ICS Professor Kim Binsted, HI-SEAS Principal Investigator (Photo: UH-News)

Six crew members exited from the Mars simulation habitat on the slopes of Mauna Loa on the Big Island after a one year mission.

The Hawaiʻi Space Exploration Analog and Simulation (HI-SEAS) project is an international collaborative research program run by he University of Hawaiʻi. ICS Professor Kim Binsted is the project’s Principal Investigator.  Studies such as this help NASA understand more about long-duration missions and will inform their astronaut selection process and support strategy.

“It’s really exciting to be able to welcome the crew back to Earth and back to Hawaiʻi after a year on Mars,” Binsted said.

The HI-SEAS project is currently recruiting for the next mission!

Related postGlobal media document historic University of Hawaiʻi Mars simulation

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HI-SEAS Mission IV crew (front row), researchers and support team. (Photo: UH-News)

 

 

 

CyberCorps Scholarship for Service Awards

UHM has received funding from the National Science Foundation for three CyberCorps Scholarship for Service (SFS) awards. These awards will help us promote cyber security education at UHM and prepare students for the workforce in this area.

The NSF CyberCorps SFS awards provide full scholarships for two graduate students and one undergraduate student to study cyber security. Initially the awards are for one year, but subsequent years are anticipated.

After graduation, students receiving this award are required to perform one year of service in a cybersecurity related U.S. government position for each scholarship year received. Also, a student on scholarship is expected to serve in a paid internship in a government cybersecurity related position during the first summer semester. A student is required to participate in a government “job fair” in early January in Washington D.C.

To be eligible for an SFS scholarship, the applicant must be a full time student with a minimum of a 3.0 GPA as an undergraduate or 3.3 GPA as a graduate student, and be in a bachelor’s (junior or above) or graduate degree program in the disciplines of Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Electrical Engineering, or a related major. The applicant must be a U.S. Citizen, be able to obtain a U.S. security clearance, and meet all requirements for employment in Federal Service.

  • The application deadline is August 15, 2016.
  • An application seminar will be held at 4pm on August 8th in Holmes Hall.
  • Further information, updates, and application details are at the UH SFS Home Page (login required).

Gerald Lau is Advisor of the Year!

Gerald Lau was recently awarded the Pakela Award for Outstanding Advisor at the University of Hawaii Manoa. From the award page: “Gerald Lau serves as a stellar model for integrating academic advising into the University’s educational mission. He is a Faculty Specialist for the rapidly growing Department of Information and Computer Sciences (ICS). He provides major academic and career counseling for over 400 students, participates in curriculum and department policy meetings that help integrate instruction with advising, and plans and develops the department’s outreach and student engagement programs. He serves as a Faculty Ambassador – recruiting students into the ICS program and into STEM fields, and serves as the department’s liaison to the Graduate Division. He is also deeply involved in a variety of cyber security activities to engage students, including being the advisor to the Grey Hats club, whose members analyze cyber defenses.”

All of us who work with Gerald know that this is a well deserved honor!

Data Visualization class taught between Hilo and Manoa via CyberCANOE

In the Spring 2016 semester, a new system –CyberCANOE– was installed at Imiloa Astronomy Center, the first of its kind in the Big Island. A brainchild of University of Hawai’i-Mānoa Faculty in Computer Science, Jason Leigh, the acronym CyberCANOE stands for Cyber Enabled Collaboration Analysis Navigation and Observation Environment, a display technology that enables users from science to education to the arts, local or distributed, to work together using cool software tools. The CyberCANOE at Imiloa is co-funded by Chris Lee from the Academy for Creative Media System and the National Science Foundation. Imiloa is using this opportunity to teach a class on data visualization between faculty from University of Hawai’i-Mānoa and University of Hawai’i-Hilo, John Burns and Misaki Takabayashi from Marine Science, Jie Cheng and Jason Leigh from Computer Science, and Jon Goebel and Julieta Aguilera from Art and Creative Media.

According to Leigh, this class is changing things around in a way that takes advantage of how Arts are traditionally taught, encouraging students to put their projects out for open criticism to work and problem solve. Cheng adds that Computer Science students have a great opportunity to work on real world data (with Marine Science students) and with Art students that can enable all to discover patterns and tell interesting stories, bridging the gap between scientific research and the public. For Goebel, class projects allow each discipline to contribute their expertise in solving a visualization problem. Being able to see things one does not normally see, is one of the things that Imiloa really does effectively, visuaizing outer space inside the planetarium dome. Scientists are dealing with information, and sometimes they need creative means, and that is where the artists come in. “That’s what we do, we think visually.”

Leigh notes that most problems we have to solve in the world today are not just about the one diagram that gives you the Nobel Prize but a number of different factors, different pictures that have to come together like a jigsaw puzzle. You can think of the CyberCANOE as this giant canvas where you put up pieces of information, and by moving them around next to each other you form the secret hidden inside the data. The CyberCANOEs being built in Hawai’i all have varying capabilities, some of them have stereoscopic 3D or tracking. The sky is the limit as to what you can put in these devices… scans of historical sites become historical preservation, so that centuries from now we can still visit those places even though they might be long gone. And if you are wheelchair bound, you can still go there with technologies like Virtual Reality (VR). Some may consider VR an isolating experience but if done right, it can actually be very rewarding. Imagine putting a 3D camera on the International Space Station, or the Moon, or on Mars. Very few of us will ever have the opportunity to go there, but with VR technology, you can. Burns and the department of Marine Science at UH-Hilo do a lot of 3D modeling and 360 video for reef sites from Hawai’i, for this exact reason, that people can get immersed in a location without having to be there, specially in restricted sites like the Papahānaumokuākea National Monument, where you can can look at data, but also at the physical environment, and bridge that connection, perhaps doing a tour, from the scale of reefs throughout the globe, all the way down to a molecular level, transcending spatial scales and giving people a huge amount of information in a concise product.

Marine Scientists may spend years working on a study that gets brought to the public through a scientific journal, reaching a small community of scientists. For Burns, outreach is a chance to connect with communities, to answer the simple questions: why does it matter if we have healthy coral reefs or not? what does it mean to people? It is an opportunity for students to continue their passion and spread the message on the importance of their work. This class is making presentations that will be exhibited at Imiloa, and if successful, students will get to see how people respond, perhaps help produce better exhibits, and something that was cultivated here between two UH campuses, can reach broader attention. To give the students the opportunity to try and address that with their projects is great, because this kind of environmental issue matters to everyone.

In the past, Aguilera points out, exhibits were developed so there were many people in between scientists and the public, who would summarize messages that people from all disciplines and ages would understand, and when you do that, a lot is lost and what is left may not be a very passionate subject. Research makes content accessible in more exploratory ways. Today it is nearly impossible to create an exhibit at a Museum that will withstand even months without something changing about it, because of new research and data. This class is adding up to that phenomena, as museums are becoming a lot more fluid, where scientists are showing their research as it happens. In the future, Cheng can see the big picture where the CyberCANOE system expands in Hawai’i including disciplines and collaboration between different campuses, introducing data that is unique to Hawai’i, that can be visualized for the world to see, starting at Imiloa.

Gazan receives IMLS Grant: Online Q&A in STEM Education: Curating the Wisdom of the Crowd

Associate Professor Rich Gazan was awarded an Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) grant for the project “Online Q&A in STEM Education: Curating the Wisdom of the Crowd.” The project received $491,973.00 in funding.

In partnership with Chirag Shah at Rutgers University School of Communication and Information, the three-year project will investigate how combining crowdsourced information with the quality assessment standards of librarians and other information professionals can enhance the experience of students in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) fields.

A 2013 analysis of 28 million course papers revealed that social networking and other user-generated content sites were cited in 23% of the papers written by college students. This is especially concerning for STEM learners, where the need to scaffold understanding with factual, trustworthy information is paramount. However, meaningful STEM education is not simply discovering and applying facts: it also requires an understanding of the process of inquiry and the conversations surrounding those facts, which is the essence of online Q&A. While all students must learn to assess the quality of their information sources, those who consult online Q&A sites may be engaging in processes of inquiry and discovering nontraditional yet valuable content appropriate to their learning objectives.

This project will explore how both formal and informal information literacy can be effectively integrated into STEM education. Principal Investigator Shah and the Rutgers team will develop and test an online Q&A content assessment tool, while Co-Principal Investigator Gazan’s team will be involved in formative design and evaluation, and will field test the tool in STEM learning environments in Hawaii.

More information: https://www.imls.gov/grants/awarded/lg-61-16-0025-16

The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 35,000 museums. Our mission is to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement. Our grant making, policy development, and research help libraries and museums deliver valuable services that make it possible for communities and individuals to thrive. To learn more, visit http://www.imls.gov.

Seminar: Terence Parr, “Mini-tutorial on building ANTLR 4 grammars”

Programmers run into parsing problems all the time, whether it’s a data format like JSON, a network protocol like SMTP, a server configuration file for Apache, or a simple spreadsheet macro language. My goal with ANTLR 4 was to make it as easy as possible to build parsers and the language applications on top. ANTLR will accept all grammars (minor caveat: no indirect left-recursion) and can produce extremely efficient ALL(*), Adaptive LL(*), parsers. In this talk, I’ll give a mini-tutorial on ANTLR 4 and the Intellij plugin.

Thursday, March 17th, 4:30pm-5:30pm in POST 126

Bio: Terence Parr is a professor of computer science at the University of San Francisco where he continues to work on his ANTLR parser generator. Until January 2014, Terence was the graduate program director for computer science and was the founding director of the MS in Analytics program. Before entering academia in 2003, he worked in industry and co-founded jGuru.com. Terence herded programmers and implemented the large jGuru developers website, during which time he developed and refined the StringTemplate engine. Terence has consulted for and held various technical positions at companies such as Google, IBM, Lockheed Missiles and Space, NeXT, and Renault Automation. Terence holds a Ph.D. in Computer Engineering from Purdue University.

AT&T Hackathon, Friday, March 11

The 2016 AT&T mobile hackathon is coming up this Friday, March 11, 2016. It is designed for attendees interested in coding mobile apps or hacking hardware solutions. So join us as we hack hardware, build apps/mobile apps, get fed, compete for prizes across different categories and most importantly: meet new people and scout for teammates to work on new or current projects. We will have experts from AT&T and the local community onsite to assist with your development.

For more information, see the hackathon signup page.

You can also watch this news story on KITV featuring Professor David Chin and student Micah Mynatt.

LAVA hosts Mid Pacific High School LiDAR Showcase of Historical Hawaiʻian Site

January 21, 2016

The Laboratory for Advanced Visualization and Applications (LAVA) worked with Mid Pacific High School to showcase their students’ LiDAR scans of Kaniakapupu ruins – the summer palace of King Kamehameha III.

The centerpiece of the showcase was a life-sized stereoscopic 3D virtual reality walkthrough of the historical site using LAVA’s 20-foot, 2x4K resolution CyberCANOE (the Cyber-enabled Collaboration Analysis Navigation and Observation Environment). The demonstration was created through a collaboration between Mid Pacific students and LAVA Master’s student, Eric Wu.

LiDAR Visualization in CyberCANOE Mid Pacific at LAVA  Mid Pacific at LAVA Mid Pacific at LAVA

Students also showed 360-degree images of the site that were taken with a 360-degree GoPro camera system. Viewers were able to see the location in full 360 degree surround using Samsung Gear Virtual Reality headsets.

Mid Pacific Institute students at LAVA

The LiDAR scanner and 360-degree camera were donated by the CyArk Foundation and GoPro. This work was also partially funded by a National Science Foundation project entitled “Development of the Sensor Environment Imaging (SENSEI) Instrument”  to build the SENSEI (SENSor Environment Imaging) instrument that will capture still and motion, 3D full-sphere omnidirectional stereoscopic video and images of real-world scenes, to be viewed in collaboration-enabled, nationally networked, 3D virtual-reality systems. Additional funding for supporting the CyberCANOE was provided by the Academy for Creative Media System at the University of Hawaiʻi.

Mid Pacific Institute's LiDAR scanner at LAVA Mid Pacific Institute's 360 camera at LAVA

Additional pictures>>>

HiCHI in the news: How Does Social Media Affect Our Political Decisions?

Social media affects political decisions – for better or worse, University of Hawaii at Manoa researchers say.

As the election season heats up, it’s important to understand how sites like Facebook and Twitter could be affecting voters’ political opinions. UH researchers from the Hawaii Computer-Human Interaction Lab recently produced a study that looked at how adults born after 1980 make decisions about candidates by using social media.

The group of researchers — Sara Douglas, Roxanne Raine, Misa Maruyama, Bryan Semaan and Scott Robertson — found that posts on social media can change millennials’ stances on issues and the way they feel about how public officials serve the community.

For the full story, see the Civil Beat article.